Recipe: Lentil Tikka Masala

This Friday, instead of a takeaway, why not try this yummy recipe that’s perfect for feeding the whole family? This Lentil Tikka Masala is chock-full of vegetables and is just as healthy as it is delicious! It all starts with sweet potato that's pureed into the sauce to add a touch of sweetness, creaminess and a vibrant orange colour. Pieces of cauliflower are roasted in yogurt (we’ve used coconut) and spices, to replace the traditional chunks of chicken, for texture and flavour, as well as making perfect finger food for your little one, depending on what stage of the weaning journey they're at. The red lentils provide protein and turn the puree into a smooth, thick, and silky sauce. A touch of coconut milk  adds the signature creaminess while keeping things light and healthy. It’s all the flavours of tikka masala with the added bonus of being really good for you, and your little one.

This makes a large batch so you can feed guests or pack the leftovers into portions and freeze for another day. 

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Cauliflower:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 120g yogurt (feel free to use dairy-free coconut yogurt like we did)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Drizzle of oil

Sauce:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 (400g) tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • 220g red lentils
  • 125ml coconut milk
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh chopped chilli (chilli powder will also do!)
  • Salt, to taste

To serve:

  • Rice
  • Fresh coriander

Method

Mix all the spices, yogurt and lemon juice together in a medium-sized bowl. Toss the cauliflower in the yogurt and spice mix and drizzle with a splash of oil before popping onto a roasting tray... Roast at 220 degrees for 25 minutes, tossing halfway through, until cauliflower is browned, softened and yummy! 

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat a splash of oil over gentle heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened. Stir in spices and allow to cook for 1 minute so the flavours can bloom. Stir in the tin of tomatoes, along with two extra tins of water. Stir in sweet potato and lentils. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until sweet potatoes have softened, adding additional water if needed.

Remove from heat, stir in coconut milk, and puree with a hand blender. Remove a portion (or several portions) for your little one.. Place the remainder back on heat and add the roasted cauliflower, setting aside some of the cauliflower as a finger food for the baby (or mash it into the sauce to the appropriate consistency for your baby). Season the remaining sauce with salt and chilli to taste, and stir gently until heated through.

Serve over rice with a sprinkling of coriander and enjoy! 

Rhian WilliamsComment